Revenge Porn In Ireland – Everything You Need To Know

Under current legislative proposals, the maximum prison term for such offences was specified as seven years. 

Approval was sought back in May from Cabinet for proposed legislation aimed at tackling the non-consensual distribution of intimate images.

The Harassment, Harmful Communications and Related Offences Bill, which provides for a six-month prison sentence upon conviction, was originally put forward by Labour leader Brendan Howlin in 2017.

It would see those convicted face a €5,000 fine, six months in prison or both.

The changes will also provide for a separate offence to deal with another image-based offence, ‘upskirting’.

"We need to have harassment laws fit for the digital age to cover cyber-bullying and revenge porn." The Labour Party said in a statement back in May. 

"Today the Government will consider our proposals on how we can tackle online harassment."

The proposed new offences include the non-consensual distribution of intimate images with the intent to cause harm – commonly known as 'revenge porn' – and harassment across all forms of communication, including online.

The bill also includes a specific offence of stalking and an expansion of the existing offence to include the sending of threatening or indecent messages to apply to all forms of online communications.

Under Deputy Howlin's legislative proposals, the maximum prison term for such offences was specified as seven years. 

At present, the bill is at committee stage, where it is being examined and possible amendments may be made. 

Issues regarding the sharing of nonconsensual imagery were raised in hearings being held by the Oireachtas Justice Committee into online harms, which will result in a report with recommendations for legislative changes.

Examples were made out of two separate instances which saw Irish women Dara Quigley and Jacqueline Griffin at the centre of circulated media in vulnerable circumstances. 

Videos of Quigley, a woman with mental health issues who took her own life in April 2017 after images of her running naked, which were originally held by Gardaí, were circulated and subsequently shared online.

Similarly, Griffin, a woman who died last January in a horrific car accident on the M50, was recorded and subsequently shared online.

Elizabeth Farries of the Irish Council of Civil Liberties said their statement was “in memory” of Dara Quigley and said her mother, Aileen Malone, was attending the hearing.

She said the sharing of CCTV, held by An Garda Síochána, of Ms Quigley running naked, first within a WhatsApp group and then uploaded onto Facebook, was “an injustice” and that, two-and-a-half years on, no organisation or individual had been held responsible.

Earlier this year, the act of 'upskirting' – taking a non-consensual photo up a person's skirt or kilt – was made illegal in England and Wales.

The followed the dogged campaigning of writer and activist Gina Martin who had an upskirt photo taken of her a year prior. The London-based freelancer – who was helped along the way by a number of MPs – drafted a bill making the practice illegal. 

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